Saranac Caramel Porter | Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery

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Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter
811 Ratings
Saranac Caramel PorterSaranac Caramel Porter

Brewed by:
Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
New York, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 811 |  Reviews: 459
Photo of utopiajane
3.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours brown with honey and amber hues in it. A ruby glint will show you good clarity but as the beer drinks you will notice this pale malt color bleeding through. Amiable tan head of foam that fell well and left lace. Strong scent of caramel like you just unwrapped a carmel. Roasty malt notes fall to the background but do creep froward as the beer warms. Taste is strong caramel. Earthy hop with plenty of herbal and spice. The hops are more pungent than you realize but it's a ton of caramel. Crisp carbonation and a medium dry robust finish. There is some residual sweetness and it's a quite a bit but not gross.

I do not prefer this beer. I think that allowing the caramel to dominate the flavor is just too much for me personally. It's well made but I dislike the flavor. The porter has the roasty darker flavor forward and usually the caramel is a secondary flavor. it clashes with the beer all that strong caramel and even the colors appear to clash in the glass. Finishes overly sweet with no roast to linger , no fruity esters.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a brown color with ruby highlights and a nice khaki head. There is nice retention and spotted lacing. Smell is very strong caramel and sweet malts. Taste is the same, way too sweet. Feel is very light for the style and almost creamy. Overall too sweet and not a fan.

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Photo of Uzarnayme
2.48/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

Photo of HattedClassic
3.57/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a nice tan head that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is an opaque brown. The overall look isn't bad and is actually kind of nice to look at. Although, it definitely resembles more of a brown ale than any porter I've seen before.

The smell is pretty nice if not overly simple. There is a very, very strong caramel note that dominates the aroma but is offset a bit with a nice hop bitterness that easily gets lost in the smell.

The taste resembles the smell but is much more balanced than the smell. The caramel sweetness is still pretty strong though. The hop bitterness is much stronger and does a better job of balancing out the sweetness. Although,it's probably a little hard to drink anything else directly after this.

The feel is nice if a tiny bit syrupy. The beer has a very dry finish and very little carbonation.

Overall, I think that this is a very decent beer and worth trying. At the very least, it's a very nice beer to finish off an evening with.

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Photo of A-Sox
2.69/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of MECove
4.62/5  rDev +46.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this one surprised me! It sounded enticing as a seasonal flavor, and I've appreciated several other Saranacs, but it was still better than my expectations. It's got a decently thick head that lingers (1/3 of an inch). It's only 5.4% but so delicious that you can drink plenty of them. It can be a dessert or an evening delight. It's got a calm roasted after-taste, a sweet aroma, and a slight hint of sparkle as it goes down. It's almost like drinking a cold, carbonated caramel coffee!

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Photo of yaksurf
3.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of AngryDutchman
4.73/5  rDev +49.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

After reading the scores and reviews, I wonder if I was even drinking the same beer.

I thought it was delicious, smooth, malty and sweet and found it very easy to drink one after another after another...I'd been a huge Saranac fan but last year's Chai brown ale really turned me off. I'm glad they brought this out. I'm inclined to run back to the distributor to get the other case they had on the floor.

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Photo of Nyrangersgrrl
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of 13tido
2.05/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Photo of MikeDre
3.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bieniek30
2.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Magister_Beav
4/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of momof8fay
4.86/5  rDev +53.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is by far my favorite beer. Despite what is said elsewhere, this is a seasonal beer and was sold out throughout my area (Syracuse) by the time I went back to attempt to buy more of it last spring. It was also sold out at Saranac (I would have driven 45 minutes to buy them out ).
Some flavored beers are over-flavored; this one is not. Just the right amount of caramel flavor in my opinion.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
2.97/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a finger of off-white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice aromas of slightly bready, roasted malt, caramel and brown sugar. Not much in the way of any other aromas though. Smells quite a bit on the sweet-side, almost cloyingly.

Taste: Only ok. Lots of roasted malt up front, followed by strong, sweet, flavors of caramel. However, the caramel tastes fake, like it’s from a syrup or extract, rather than real caramel. It’s not a bad beer, but not a real good one either. It is however, disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very, very smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 5.4%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is only an ok porter. Good idea, great idea, actually, but poorly executed. The caramel comes off as fake and chemical, rather than natural and delicious. I’d pass on this beer if offered again. Saranc needs to take this back to the drawing board and come up with a better recipe.

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Photo of grahuba
3.75/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of stoutmen
2.52/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of ArkyVaughan
3/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of WSchooley
3.68/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of k47k
3.34/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of pep
3.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
2.35/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Fairly dark brown, although a bit lighter than a typical porter. There's a finger of golden-brown head that hangs around for a few minutes.

S: Reminiscent of a typical brown ale, with lots of toasted malt, and a little bit of hops. There's also a hint of cola, which surprised me.

T: Not good! I'd thought this would be at least decent based on the look and a smell, but this tastes really bad. Sure, there's the Bready malt I expected, but there's also a cloying sweetness and a chemical taste that's really off-putting (artificial caramel flavor?) and ruins the whole experience.

M: I didn't even notice -- the taste has my full attention.

O: A drain pour, after 2 sips (I don't know why I didn't stop at one).

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Photo of GetTheYayo
3.38/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bf7
2.59/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Saranac Caramel Porter from Matt Brewing Company / Saranac Brewery
Beer rating: 3.16 out of 5 with 811 ratings